Is Widespread Ethnic Cleansing Planned For The Civil Services And The Security Forces?
Something very disturbing is going on that is putting our country at the risk of disintegration. Recent appointments, firings and re-instatements of Gambians in both the civil and public services have tribalism written all over it. So when the PMO issued a press release indicating they are embarking on a comprehensive nationwide staff audit for the Civil Services and Security Forces with the main aim of ‘improving payroll integrity’ to be done in in two phases; the alarm bells start ringing.
This exercise has all the attributes of ethnic profiling especially coming straight on the heels of the laying off over 80 employees at GAMTEL reported to be relatives and friends of the sacked MD. The question is why the new SG who served as Permanent Secretary at the PMO for a very longtime never commissioned such audit exercises in the past and why the urgency to do it now when other priorities of national significance have been put on hold such as the establishment of the Commission to look into the businesses and financial activities of the former president or the creation of an anti-corruption agency the Bill for which was already passed by the National Assembly in September 2016?
It is only hope that this exercise is not going to be used to witch hunt and weed out certain tribes from the services if so it could have serious consequences for the new Barrow administration which could led to a popular uprising.
Panel to review complaints for wrongful dismissals
The review of wrongful termination/ dismissals was supposed to have been completed but many people who filed their complaints have still not been contacted by the panel chaired by the SG. With a selection of few cases reviewed some people of a particular ethnic tribe have been re-instated by the panel leaving most of the eligible complainants who were victims of Jammeh’s tyranny with a litany of implausible excuses.
It is too obvious when reading between the lines to figure out favoritism based on tribe in the way this exercise was done which raised some red flags as it was widely rumored that all those who had their cases reviewed and re-instated are Mandinka.
One Gambia, one tribe
The Gambia has been known to be a country where people of different religious backgrounds and ethnic groupings live side by side, inter-marrying and celebrating together. Gambians went to the polls and elected President Adama Barrow hoping to build a country where power will belong to the people and leaders will serve the people regardless of tribe, religion or ethnicity.
In short, we wanted a country where surnames cannot define what type of jobs we can have, which mosques or churches to pray, what type of spouses we can marry, which regions we can stay and which privileges we can enjoy. We decided for a leader to spearhead an all-inclusive government devoid of any tribal or linguistic ethnicity.
That is why it is disingenuous for anyone to think that Adama Barrow’s election victory is for one tribe only. In fact he got more winning votes from Banjul and Kanifing Adminstrative regions than anywhere in the country. This helped to show that we did not vote in the presidential election based on party lines but we voted for the coalition to implement change. Tribalism dressed up as improving Government payroll integrity or making appointments based on tribal affiliation are the twin evils inimical to our development and progress.
Promoting tribal harmony should be the cornerstone for the new Barrow Government. Putting nationalism before tribalism is a recipe for national disaster.
God bless the Gambia!
Written By An Insider